The Daily Telegraph has revealed more than 1000 care home residents have died from dehydration since 2003.

How any human being can treat another with such neglect, denying them one of life’s necessities is beyond me.

Norman Lamb has said the deaths are unacceptable. I’d go further and say it is barbaric, entirely inexcusable and indefensible.  It must stop.

Instead of trying to patch-up a system that is clearly beyond repair, it’s time to show there is another way for people to live as they grow older.

Let’s scrap the institutionalised settings where older people are treated worse than animals and start again.

This is what we’ve done at Evermore. We’re building small, family home environments where older people feel safe and secure, knowing they have the safety net of a small team who they know well.

Our staff will be recruited to ensure they have the right values to become advocates, their skills will be continuously developed and they will be well rewarded.   They will work with our residents to enable them to do as much as they want, when they want.

Mealtimes will be an integral part of the day, and everyone will be encouraged to take part in the domesticity of preparing and eating food together. It will be nourishment for the body AND the soul where conversations take place and friendships flourish.

Change can and will happen, in fact it’s already started.

We are building a brighter future at Evermore where older people can feel good and live happy, where they no longer need to be afraid about what growing older entails.

Sara McKee

Founder and Director of Market Innovation

Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraMcKeeFRSA